Faculty of Health

    Spirituality as a Resource

    For research, it is useful to distinguish between spirituality and religiosity – although there is a profound debate whether it is adequate to separate both constructs at all. Nevertheless, spirituality is a complex and multi-dimensional construct which can be conceptualized as an open and individual experiential approach in the search for meaning and purpose in life on the one hand, or for the “Sacred” (as stated by Ken Pargament) on the other hand.

    Spirituality can be found through religious engagement, through an individual experience of the divine, and/or through a connection to others, environment and the sacred. Thus, one could differentiate between spirituality in religion (which connotes a more open, individual and pluralistic faith) and spirituality as opposed to religion (which rejects organized religiosity).

    Multidimensional approaches

    Therefore one has to ask for the “core” dimensions, and differentiate these from related aspects which can be seen as the “outcomes”, i.e., altruistic behavior, feelings of inner peace, spiritual practices such as praying, meditation etc. Moreover, several persons may have specific unmet psychosocial, emotional, existential, and religious needs which are in most cases not adequately addressed in a therapeutic setting. These needs can be related to the topics of Connection, Peace, Meaning, and Transcendence, and can be found both in religious but also in a-religious persons.

    Whatever definition one would choose to operationalize the complex construct, one has to be aware that it is multi-layered, and thus multidimensional approaches are preferable in several cases.

    To account for the fact that several persons do not regard themselves as religious but may nevertheless have interest in secular forms of spirituality, we have developed several standardized instruments to address different aspects of spirituality.  

    Instruments to measure spirituality and quality of life associated dimensions

    In case you need an instrument to measure specific aspects and facets of the complex construct spirituality / religiosity on the one hand and quality of life associated measures, you may find here some options (developed by our research unit at the Witten/Herdecke University) to choose:

    Below you will find a list of questionnaires with their subscales, translations, and adaptations. They are owned and copyrighted by me, Prof. Dr. Arndt Büssing, and can be obtained for investigator-initiated studies with the agreement of the copyright holder. Please send me an e-mail with the specific questionnaire title to request these questionnaires.

    Quality of Life associated Measures

    Within the wide context of quality of life issues and coping there are some further dimensions which might be interesting to evaluate. Perveived Changes (because of the Corona Pandemic).

    To measure reactions of emotional exhaustion and distancing of physicians, nurses, psychotherapists, teachers, etc. towards their patients, clients, students, etc. one may use the following instrument:

    • Permission for use of one or more of the instruments in English (or other languages) can be obtained by Prof. Dr. Arndt Büssing (Email: arndt.buessing@uni-wh.de). Please name the sepcific questionnaire title in your enquiry.
    • In most cases, there is no cost for use of the questionnaires when used in investigator-initiated studies.
    • When you have received permission to use a specific instrument, you will provide us with copies of any publications related to collected data with any of these questionnaires.
    • You may not change the wording or phrasing of the instruments without previous permission. Yet, you may add further items to enhance the spectrum. This requires permission of the copyright holder.
    • You may receive help for scoring and interpretation of data on request. In most cases, reference values are available, yet, they may differ with respect to culture and context.
    Spirituality as a Resource - Project Director
    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Arndt Büssing
    Spirituality as a Resource - Project Director

    Univ.-Prof. Dr.
    Arndt Büssing

    Fakultät für Gesundheit (Department für Humanmedizin)
    Lehrstuhl für Medizintheorie, Integrative und Anthroposophische Medizin

    Die Universität Witten/Herdecke ist durch das NRW-Wissenschaftsministerium unbefristet staatlich anerkannt und wird – sowohl als Institution wie auch für ihre einzelnen Studiengänge – regelmäßig akkreditiert durch: